Namaskar, Namasthe, Namaskaram - The tradition of an on-contact manner of respectfully greeting and honoring a person or group is an ancestral tradition in India. This respectful gesture of touching your both palms and greeting people is a Hindu custom that has underlying spiritual meanings and significance. Other than in India, we can see this tradition in South Asian countries like Bangladesh and Nepal.
The subtle meaning of Namaste is that ‘I bow to the divine in you. Namaste is the way of acknowledging the other person and considering the spiritual oneness of the spirit of the person greeted. Therefore, Namaste is considered the highest and the most respectful form of greeting among the different cultures around the world.
Namaste is the most spiritual position to greet a person. Palms are held together near our heart in a prayer pose and a little bow of the head. Namasthe is the acknowledgment of our shared humanity. Namaste is derived from Sanskrit, in Vedic literature. Namas-Krita and related terms appear in the Hindu scripture Rigveda.
The hand gesture, Namaste, is said to express honor, courtesy, politeness, hospitality, and gratitude to the other person. It is also part of the 16 Upacharas that are used during formal worship in a temple. When it comes to worshiping a deity, then Namaste signifies ‘greeting the God’.
Namaste is one among the many mudras or hand gestures practiced in Indian culture. To know more about other mudras and their significance try this book from Devotional Store: